China and the West: Where the Confrontation Between the Two Worldviews May Take Us

By

EVENT TRANSCRIPT: China and the West: Where the Confrontation Between the Two Worldviews May Take Us

DATE: 11am-12pm; 6 February 2020

VENUE: Committee Room 11, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA, United Kingdom

SPEAKER: Anastasia Lin

EVENT CHAIR: Bob Seely, Member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight

 

Bob Seely MP:

Ladies and Gentlemen I think we’re going to start, sorry we’re starting a few minutes late, I do apologise. My name is Bob Seely I’m on the Member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight, and I’m on the foreign affairs select committee –although we haven’t yet met in this new Parliament. So thank you very much indeed for being here. I’m interested in things Russia, things China, government systems which are very different from our own.

So I’m delighted that we have Anastasia Lin here who is born in China, Hunan Province, now a Canadian citizen, and says it is a actress and an activist. I just asked her if she was planning to marry a member of the Royal Family and as of yet the answer is “no”, so that’s good. She was Miss Canada in 2015, was quite outspoken in some of the things that she said about China, was denied a visa back to the country of her birth and I think she has some very interesting things to say, which I’m very much looking forward to listening to on the role of the Chinese Communist Party and the culture that it has created in that country, as opposed to more traditional Chinese culture. And also potentially about how that is going to interact with the Western world in the years and decades to come.

Before she starts, one other final point from me. I hope I’m wrong on this, but I see the 21st century as one in which we are going to have a struggle, of whatever form, between the societies which are essentially free, that obey the rule of law, and the things we know about Wester society so: rule of law, data privacy, companies acting under those rules of law, and government obeying those rules of law. And the rise of those authoritarian states, Russia and China principally, or China principally but also Russia, that take a very different approach to humanity, that take a different approach to human freedom, and through artificial intelligence and big data, now arguably have the power to try and shape and control their populations in a way that gives them almost more power than the totalitarian societies of the 20th century. That’s just my starter for one.

Anastasia, over to you, thank you very much indeed for being here, thank you.

Anastasia Lin:

Thank you. And thank you so much for coming here to listen to me today. I am a human rights activist but I am not Greta Thunberg type of activist, so I promise I won’t indoctrinate or accuse. I am not in academia, but I have lived in China and struggled with the Chinese regime for probably half of my life right now. So I hope what I can offer to you is my lived experience and perhaps that can offer some insight to what you’re doing here and how you can look at Chinese government.

So I was born in China and I lived there for 13 years. My family was never, my immediate family -my parents and myself, was never under direct persecution inside China because my father was a well-established business man, and he was quite successful, before my human rights platform came to some kind of attention. And he was in the right element of the society to be joining the Communist party. If you know anything about dictatorial society, especially in the communist society, the society is structured in a way that the elites are attracted to join the Communists, to become a member. Therefore, to offer the Communist party more legitimacy in their rule of Chinese people.

And my mother was a university professor. She taught “International Finance” and “Western Economics”. Therefore, they are considered the elite, so I was in the element to become a student leader in my high school. And like anything in China, the government, even down to the student council, where I was elected as the head of the class…as long as you have a official, that is a government official or student leader, then you have the exact equivalent of the party status. So you would have the general secretary and then you would have the president. So their love was equal but it’s almost like communist insect that’s attached to a normal government system. So part of what I did as a student leader was indoctrinating my fellow classmates.

So since I was little, and probably beginning elementary school, and even in kindergarten, some of the songs that they taught us are portraying Chinese Communist party in a way that is very intimate to you, closer to you than your own parents, that they are always glorious, righteous, and would never be wrong. And aligning with the Communist party’s ideology, their goal would be pretty much the sole purpose of your existence. And that, because the indoctrination started so young, there is not an environment where I can have a second opinion on this. So the entire generation, my generation, grow up in such environment. When we get to middle school, when we get to elementary school, we join the “Young Pioneer” which is the younger division of the Communist party, and we would start to attack governments enemies. And I would have organised my classroom, my students, to have political discussion and talk about their own opinion about politics. Of course there was only one opinion that you can show, it’s the pro-government one.

I can give an example. For example, during the 9/11 terrorist attack, the school offered us an opportunity, to watch the central television together during class time. And after seeing the tapes of the tapes of the World Trade Centre collapsing, the students can talk about what they think of what this means. And surprisingly, a lot of students, instead of offering empathy, they said that this is what the American Imperialists deserve. This is your lesson. So instead of showing the human nature side, of a natural reaction to an event, this artificial layer of what the communists had been indoctrinating us since little, has come up as the first reaction to outside world.

Now this is not Chinese traditional culture. And I think because, since 1949 after Communist Chinese party has taken over, the Western world did not really have a channel to understand what our traditional culture, what our philosophical tradition is. Taiwan struggling to establish diplomatic relationship with every country in the world, probably are not very intensive in their cultural exchanges.

Our culture was not like that. We have 5 thousand years of history, and the communists have only been onto our land for several decades. Before that we shared a very similar value to Christianity. Our traditional beliefs would be Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and before that, it would be a respect for heaven, and look at the heaven as a natural moral authority. Yes, we would have kings, but the kings, their title, are the son of god. We have many sons of god, not just one, but they are not religious or spiritual figures. Their ruling right comes from the divine, which is very similar to the West. Now, whenever there is a natural disaster, or something doesn’t go well inside of the country domestically, the kings naturally have to reflect, it’s their obligation to self-reflect, and to pray to the heaven again to establish this connection and their humbleness toward the universe and to nature. And human existence was the nature in harmony is at the forefront of our philosophy.

Now after communists taken over, because their ideology demands absolute control of the hearts and minds of people, and you cannot question them but they don’t have a set rule. It’s not like the Buddha’s “Fa”, or the Taoist “Tao”, or the Jesus teaching, or even what Socrates said, the form that is never changing). Their idea, their ideology, is always changing to serve their own rule. In the past the capitalists were standing in the way for them to take over the country so the capitalists were the bad ones, and my great grandfather was executed during that movement because he was a very wealthy business man. And then when China opened up, and capitalism coming into China, and that was all of a sudden very good for Communist, for them to distract the people, to use materialism, to use commercialism to distract people from their innate power, their innate worth, and their connection to the natural dignity of the human being. Then all of a sudden capitalism is encouraged -money worshipping is encouraged.

So you see there is an ever changing principle in the communist ideology. It’s a little bit like the “woke” culture here, that you can never be more “woke”. You can always be more “woke”, you can always change and the theory keeps on changing that you have nothing to abide to. Therefore, I guess I’m being a little politically incorrect here…

Bob Seely MP:

You’re in the right place for it.

Anastasia Lin:

Ok, wonderful. So there is this natural comparison I think a lot of people from China, of Chinese decent, when the see what is going on in the West, it’s quite obvious because history just keeps repeating itself. In our traditionalist culture, what Communists call the “4 Olds” are: ancient thoughts, ancient traditions, our habits, our festivals, our respect for family, all of that is branded as “the old things”, this oppression of a certain class that needs to get rid of. And China ended up in a chaos. And then of course Chinese people would resist and they would ask Communist party, “you offered, you promised us Utopia, and that never came. So what happened? We got rid of everything for you”. And then the Communist party would blame it onto the invisible enemy within the party, or the invisible enemy in the West.

Since I was very little, we have been repeatedly told that the West are constantly trying to subvert, trying to subjugate, humiliate China, destabilise the country, isolate China, and I always questioned that idea. Why is it that all domestic expression of discontent is blamed onto the black hand of the West? They’re apparently behind the Tibetan protest, the Falun Gong protest, the democracy activist movement, the Hong Kong protest, Taiwanese government, is all because of the West. And even Chinese human rights lawyer, who are fighting for their citizens wellbeing, are also being branded as agents of the West. That’s because Chinese Communist Party, they know that they will never deliver the Utopia. Therefore, if they’re struggling with something that is within them that is hard to get…there is an enemy that is outside in the West constantly trying to undermine us, then it makes sense, we’re struggling with them. And the constant struggle is there to give legitimacy to Communist rule.

You may think, why is this important to us when we look at China? They can look at us that way but we don’t have to respond in the same way, but no. This kind of idea is reflected in the strategy of how Communist China is infiltrating the West. We see that Chinese government had banned NGOs from operating inside the country unless they submit to government control. The Communist party claim that this is to ensure that these NGOs do not subvert the country.

Now why would the Communists worry about that? Perhaps because Chinese government control groups are doing exactly this here in this country. Beijing has backed numerous Chinese professional associations, cultural associations, student associations, to mobilise, sometimes to influence foreign governments’ election results, policies in the West. These groups act as an extension, as the party and state apparatus. And sometimes these connections are concealed from the public, but it’s not as naïve as you think, as people might think. Also Chinese government had banned a talk of Western democracy, universal human rights, from their own classrooms since 2016. That means the Communist government understands how important it is to impart the right political view onto its young people.

But the universities in the West have Confucius institute. These institutes are embedded in hundreds of universities outside. The curriculum and the staff are controlled directly by the Communist party, and a senior official in the Communist party said that Confucius institute is an important part of the oversee propaganda effort. And this raised troubling questions on campuses about freedom of expression and academic integrity.

My film screening and my talks even, were cancelled on campuses in Australia…last time when I was debating Durham University, the Chinese consulate called Durham Union to tell them that, “if you allow this speaker to speak, it will damage UK-China relations. The Durham University’s Chinese student union association, was mobilised to protest against us. They wrote to the president; they were trying to cancel my speech. But fortunately, I think, the students in Durham Union have heard about this kind of infiltration before and they resisted that they recorded the Chinese embassy’s reporting and sent it to the tabloids. Kudos to them! But how many times this didn’t happen and it went the other way?

Now these are just examples I am giving. In political science there is this mirror imaging that we can see what our opponent’s motives might be by looking at the action that they are doing to us and themselves.

Now I know the UK has just signed a deal with Huawei to have them playing a leading role in your 5G network. It’s like the corona virus in the high tech realm. It’s China’s “Trojan Horse”. It comes in and…I think there isn’t a lack of understanding of what Huawei means. They are acting on behalf of the Chinese government. If you let them establish a 5G network, basically for the infinite future, you will have to rely on the Chinese economy, the Chinese technology, you are completely bound with them and basically submit yourself to Chinese Communist control. I don’t know if there is a lack of awareness about that, but the problem is that your retail characters are lobbying on behalf of Chinese government. And that is the part that we see the both sides of debate. One is this security oriented people with consciousness about this issue and the other side is the business side of the issue. But if you do give in, not only are you isolating your allies, in the 5 Eyes, you are also putting yourself in an incredibly dangerous situation, where you are extremely vulnerable under the control and threat of a dictatorial regime.

I would love to open this conversation and answer some of your questions. I feel like I have said not enough but I’m curious to know what you think as well?

Bob Seely MP:

Anastasia that was incredible, thank you very much indeed. Right, here’s the first question. Sir?

Guest 1:

Peter Trusker? House of Lords. He said it, thanks very much indeed for your (inaudible) and your discussion about human rights and the, particularly the role of the Chinese Communist party. One thing I was a bit concerned about at the moment is that there have been recent studies that have come out from Cambridge University and the Economists Intelligence Units, which actually says that dissatisfaction with democracy in the West is growing, which is somewhat ironic given the situation in Hong Kong where people are standing up for their rights and democracy. Do you think that anything that the West can or should be doing to counter that dissatisfaction with democracy particularly in the case of the UK and Canada?

 My second question is about the situation in Hong Kong, how do you think that situation could be resolved? What would be your ideal scenario for the protests in Hong Kong to be dealt with and the two sides to be brought together (inaudible).

Anastasia Lin:

Thank you very much. To your first question, I think there is a lacking of awareness within the young people and I think…my solutions, sometimes I offer to my friends in private conversation, is that we can ship a group of Generation Z’ers back to Communist China and let them live there for a while. And then come back to appreciate the freedom we have here a lot more.

Sometimes when I go to university campuses, I communicate with these young children, it seems like they never had a channel to understand what it feels like to actually live under totalitarian regime. And the kind of mind conformity that you have to go through, even though they are going through similar things in their university, but I don’t think they are fully aware of that. It will come to a breaking point, a threshold where things start to tip the other way I guess. But if we can let them hear more of the stories of people who come from these totalitarian regimes, authoritarian regimes, former communist countries, perhaps they will understand a bit more of what we are fighting for here in the West. And I think, and this is just my personal (very humble) opinion, that sometimes when we try to communicate our values to the younger people, there is a disconnect because your grandfathers have fought for the freedom we enjoy, this natural given right feels so normal. Does that make any sense?

 Guest 1:

What about Hong Kong? How would you like to see the situation go in Hong Kong?

Anastasia Lin:

Well the most ideal situation is that Communist regime falls apart. But that’s not really such an intangible way of looking at the situation. Their economy is not as strong as what you think it is and internal, inside China, the tension is up to the (inaudible) especially with the Corona virus right now. We don’t know how long things are going to be like status quo, it might be the former Soviet Union, that’s the best hope. But if things continue, there’s no doubt (if the outside world doesn’t do anything), Hong Kong is going to be completely under the Communist control if the outside world doesn’t speak up for them –which is probably the only tool that they have right now to have their voice reach outside. It’s going to look pretty bad.

Bob Seely MP:

Thank you very much indeed. Lady here.

Guest 2:

Good morning, (inaudible), just thinking about the last point, we all thought that when there was (inaudible) in Russia, that that’s it, a new judicial system, a new order? As for China, from what remains at present, is very powerful and must be (inaudible), and that’s when China’s economy leapt. But this one is different and I just wondered, because it’s becoming more efficient, (inaudible) bring what you’ve said, its more (inaudible) going to fall.

 Bob Seely MP:

Just looking at the inefficiencies in the Chinese economy and the pressure that’s going to have on that society. Anastasia.

Anastasia Lin:

Thank you. I feel like usually when we discuss China issues, we don’t tend to look at individual leaderships personalities, because the mind-set that they, the Communist party has indoctrinated onto Chinese people and the mind set of Communist officials from the smallest town to the highest level, it’s not really relevant to the individual personality but a whole system. For example, China’s education system never encourages challenge, they encourage obedience. And people are never supposed to challenge the establishment. And in such a system the Communist officials they come out, they were educated like that, and the work environment, they always feel like the Communist party is behind them and that’s their spine and therefore they can do whatever they want to within such a system.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that, the value system is the cause of what Communist China is today and it’s eventually going to lead to a downfall. Individual personalities and leadership might play roles in its ups and downs, but eventually the outcome is not going to be that much different.

Bob Seely MP:

Um, sir

 Guest 3:

When a head of state makes a public statement, it has a purpose. So what do you think is president Xi’s purpose in referring multiple times to the “Century of Humiliation”?

Anastasia Lin:

The “Century of Humiliation” is the 19th centuries when the colonial West power has posed threats to China…

Guest 3:

But why does he keep referring to it?

Anastasia Lin:

Because these old grievances have to be kept alive in order for domestic discontent to be redirected toward the West. Otherwise when the Communist…the problem with Chinese people sometimes, in their thinking, is that they never connect their social problems, the things that they have met, the social issues that they have met in a communist society, directly with the regime. It’s always the local official, it’s always somewhere under, it’s never the Communist party itself. Once they realise that the Communist party is the direct cause of all the problems they’re facing right now, then it might be very different. Now the Communist party has been very successful in re-directing the anger toward the Japanese, toward Americans. Whenever there is something that’s wrong, they blame it, even Corona Virus right now they are blaming American’s for it.

 Bob Seely MP:

Sorry to say that again, how are they blaming the Corona Virus on the Unites States?

Anastasia Lin:

They are saying that, well, recently the Chinese foreign affairs official, having saying that US have been not helping in the Corona Virus outbreak in its control and they have been very aggressive, Xi said that January 3rd is the time when Communist party have effectively communicated the new about outbreak. The funny thing is that the news was never broke to the Chinese public until January 20th. So as soon as the foreign affairs said that, they took it off their website because then Chinese people get really angry, “why did you tell the Americans before you even tell us?” They say that US have been trying to subvert during this outbreak to further destabilise the country. But we all know that US has offered support, medical support, personnel support. So this is a way to put their responsibility on to someone else, to blame them for their fault. Is that understandable?

The constant humiliation is needed so that the Chinese people still feel that the West is still hostile toward us. That if we want to stand up to the Communist Chinese party, we’ll have no one helping us because they’re trying to be our enemy.

Bob Seely MP:

Yes

Guest 4:

I was very interested in your remarks about (inaudible), about history, and religion. How do you characterise Chinese religion today? Why does it always get left out of (inaudible).

Anastasia Lin:

Chinese religion as in Buddhism and Taoism?

Bob Seely MP:

Sorry I didn’t quite understand the question.

Guest 4:

I’m very curious as to why communism is so prevalent in the past given the 5 thousand years of cultural achievement on the basis of the kind of spiritual spirituality of it that you characterise in your presentation.

Bob Seely MP:

So you’re asking, and it’s a good question, is communism resilient, or why is communism resilient? And is it linked to Chinese culture, is it despite Chinese culture or is there a grey…

Guest 4:

It’s a genuine question, why is communism so (inaudible)? What has happened to your traditional values? What is happening to the spirituality? which has grown in China? Are you Buddhist, are you Confucian, are you Dao, are you atheist?

Anastasia Lin:

Thank you that is a very good question. And this is the type of things that I really like to talk about to a Western audience.

Chinese believe, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. These are the 3 essential beliefs in Chinese traditional culture. Now depending on different kings, they might like Taoism more then Buddhists would get kind of a crackdown during that dynasty, but then the next king might like Buddhism more and they would promote Buddhism instead. And Confucianism carries the cultural behaviour of the Chinese 5 thousand years of culture.

5 thousand years is enough time to produce a very systematic, a very complex value system. But essentially, let me explain Buddhism and how the similarity is to Western Christianity. People might think in today’s liberal word that Buddhism is like a kind of yoga and spiritual belief that is radical left, and that we believe in nothingness and you don’t get attached to anything, nothing really exists. No that’s Zhen Buddhism in a very manipulated way of understanding.

Traditional Buddhist believes that human beings are made in heaven and in the universe. At the beginning in the universe creation, the characteristic is companionate and truthful. But when there are more beings being created, there is a society, a social relation that has formed, therefore beings started to develop selfishness and terrible things and they descend into this human world. In this human world the spiritual way to go back to their origin, their own home, their true self, is to get rid of selfishness, attachment to things such as greed, desire, and eventually to be the most purified version of their true self, who they really are. And this illusion creates many tasks and trials to test your faith, to test your attachment toward materialistic things. And does that sound quite similar to Christianity? I know that in Christianity you only have 1 god, the eternal god, and he has sent a son here, but in traditional Buddhism they don’t warship a specific god, but the universe has a law that is eternal and governs everything. So that is an equivalent that could be drawn. And also…

Bob Seely MP:

But just on that point, if I may interrupt, has communism destroyed that or has communism taken elements of that to justify its own existence? And do you think that communism can in any way, be compatible with traditional Chinese culture? Because there was a school of thought, with the Soviets, that the Russians had a concept of communality and communism which was used by Marxists to base Russian communism on.

Anastasia Lin:

The Communists destroyed China’s traditional religion through cultural revolution. And that is a very traumatising time. My father lived through it when he was younger. All the traditional institutions were destroyed. The scholars who carry the institutional memories were condemned as public enemies, many of them sent to sleep in horse barns. And the fear in people, and the society creates the denouncement, the public denouncement of professor’s scholars, thinkers, religious personnel…

Guest 4:

Is what’s going on here now?

Bob Seely MP:

Yea, on a lesser scale, it has to be fair. I mean the twitter-sphere of abuse aimed at…sorry.

Anastasia Lin:

Yes, there are many Chinese that compare the twitter now-a-days to the old big letter posters that was posted on the walls of China to denounce whoever is opposed to the Communist party.

So through that, people start to, and this mentality is very similar in the West right now, you say something –it might be completely naïve and innocent, or its just your natural belief through experience- but then they tell you that that is wrong because it’s so completely outside of your conscientiousness, that you don’t even know that you are wrong, is the society that created this 5 thousand years of feudalist oppression that made you think that way. Therefore, you need to completely abandon any kind of reason, any kind of rationality that is still existent in you, and conform to them. The final goal is absolute conformity, nothing else. So I hope I explained how they try, aim, to control people.

Now when the first generation of Chinese have been through that, they were silenced by fear. When their neighbours, their friends, were condemned, publicly denounced, they don’t dare to speak up for them because they see the persecution they are going through. They see the mob at that time, how they persecuted their friends. Therefore, individual choices of conformity eventually became a collective conformity, and then we lost our country to communism.

Bob Seely MP:

Sir

Guest 5:

Thank you very much indeed, the name’s Euan Grant, former UK customs service and intelligence analyst. I’ve worked in quite a number of Belgian road countries in central Asia and the African (inaudible) and it seemed a dramatic (inaudible) and not recent economic (inaudible), both hidden and overt. My question follows on your comment about restrictions of NGOs and international NGOs in China. And your comment about Durham University and I suspect (inaudible) Universities. Are there any lobbying groups, international NGOs, who are taking on, the implications of Chinese growing influence? And the reason I ask that is because I think a lot of them aren’t and would do well to listen to you and invite you. And on my particular area of dirty money, I am struck by how most, not all, but most European, UK, and North American anti-corruption NGOs very much pull their punches along Chinese illicit capital flows. Not so much Russia, you mentioned it, but they tend to shy away from China. Thank you.

Anastasia Lin:

So is there any NGO’s that are actively combating this kind of infiltration. Well the ones that I have talked to are usually within specific countries. I see Australian think tanks, Canadian think tanks, and US think tanks working by themselves on issues. Because I travel to different countries to talk to different think tanks, I sometimes ask them, “do you think we can form an ally?” Because the problem you face is exactly the same everywhere, just a degree of difference. Australia is probably the forefront of everything because they’re really deep in that sink right now. I do think there could be a collective effort to form a collective alliance around the world because the Chinese have their United Front department against the West in every country. So we can resist this kind of infiltration together and I think sometimes you need to do it together. For example, when China picked on Australia for banning 5G of Huawei from their 5G building, immediately Australia’s coal that was shipped to China, that was supposed to be sold to China, were delayed in the port for unknown reasons. And these kind of things are Communist party acting out on different countries.

Now one may think that the Communist party is so powerful economically that they can do whatever they want but no, we actually have way more leverage than we think. They need our trade more than we need them. And collectively we can become a very strong, very powerful force.

Bob Seely MP:

Just on that point, do you think OK basically, we are not calling China’s bluff because China has cleverly played individual countries against each other. Because we’ve thought the French and the Brits, probably as badly as anyone have thought, “hey, we can cut a special deal with China, we’ll be China’s best made in this bit of the world and we’ll get better deals.” And actually, I think that’s really badly backfired. Do you agree with that?

Anastasia Lin:

I agree with that 100%.

Bob Seely MP:

Couple more questions here. Georgia.

Guest 6:

I was wondering, obviously there’s a lot of Chinese students in British universities, and I was wondering why there’s, when these students go back to China, why they don’t have, why they’re not angered by the fact that they don’t have the freedoms, and the, you know, the lack of censorship we have in the UK, why don’t they fight back?

Anastasia Lin:

That’s a really great question and thank you so much for asking. I think this is a problem that should be addressed. I think as any educator in a university would probably have noticed that these Chinese international students, when they come out to Western universities, they don’t publicly discuss their political opinions especially in a political science class. There are a few reasons for that. First of all, unfamiliarity with the democratic process and values. They usually enrol in commerce, engineering, things that not so much with humanity or exchange of values. And secondly, their own classmate acts as an informant to report on them back to Chinese authorities. During the Hong Kong protests when it was at its highest in August, when I was in Australia in a think tank to help them do their work to combat China’s infiltration, there were reports of Chinese students holding cameras up to other Chinese mainland students who go up to Hong Kong protesting student to even try to talk to them. So their threat was we are going to upload you on Weibo, we’re going to register you with every authority back in China. Their household, their family, probably they’re not even Australian citizens so they have to go back to China and find a livelihood. This is very terrifying. My father was threatened when I was crowned “Miss World Canada” and I spoke on a stage of a pageant show, and that got the Chinese Communist agent to threaten my father, to dismantle his business, ban him from travelling. All that. Imagine how afraid these students without any voice would feel. And also another thing is that some of the students that were taking these videos, they are sending it as a display of loyalty to the government, to the Chinese government, so that when they go back they can advance because they have shown, they have proven their loyalty. This Is one thing. The China’s informants they are infiltrating the West that acts as an invisible iron arm on the outside Chinese population. And this exists in Chinese community from the smallest Hunan province association, to lawyers, Chinese lawyers’ association. Often times these associations have direct control by the Chinese Communist party, sometimes financed by them too, and they do this work through the united front department in China and also the overseas Chinese affair office.

Bob Seely MP:

Let’s have a final round of questions. Let’s just take them as we are so at the back.

Guest 7:

Hi there, I have quite a lot of trouble trusting the market to protect our values when it comes to dealing with China as the (inaudible) sort of shifts. If you just had a few points for you know, market leaders and everyone in that sort of sphere, on how to deal with China and sort of uphold our values (inaudible)

 Bob Seely MP:

It’s a very good question, are you somewhat saying that, I’m going to try and ask you a leading question: are you saying that in relation, let’s say, to Vodafone and Huawei… and all these companies that are sort of doing sweet heart deals with Huawei so that the Chinese Communist parties can get in with our system or (inaudible).

Guest 7:

That’s definitely a part of it, I’m talking more about my (inaudible). An example recently being with blizzard and the NBA in regards to how they respond to Hong Kong and shutting down any sort of distance around that. That’s sort of what I’m speaking to…

Bob Seely MP:

Brilliant thank you very much indeed for that. Sir?

Guest 8:

Thank you very much. I’m sorry I missed the first bit as well (inaudible). Either way I have a question I’d like to ask you is…What’s obviously very important is that we have a realistic policy towards China and Chinese companies like Huawei? And you may have mentioned this but bearing in mind that this country has now left the European Union and has determined to struck its own path in the world, it seems to me there is absolutely no alternative to accepting Huawei 5G technology though we read in the newspapers (inaudible), the French have tried it with…

Bob Seely MP:

Can I just correct you on that about the French? The French haven’t tried it. Orange France signed a deal to build a 5G network with Nokia and Ericson. So they’re not trying it, they’re building without Huawei as many places are around the world. But due carry on.

Guest 8:

But Huawei is good to go and already deeply embedded in British telecommunications. And bearing in mind that we have decided that we need to have a competitive advantage, is it really realistic? I mean, Brexit Britain can’t really do much about human rights in China, can it though? We don’t trade, we have to help…

Bob Seely MP:

You make a very good point, do you come from this from a specific point of view sir? I mean you’re not from a lobby group or anything else?

Guest 8:

No no not at all, (inaudible), professor at University of Buckingham but I’ve been following the Huawei story for a long time, and a new Brexiteer (which I opposed), I don’t see no alternative.

Bob Seely MP:

You make a very good point and I look forward to listening to the answer. Sir?

Guest 9:

In your reply to the question about what has become of traditional Chinese culture and religion, I understood you to have said, that the Communist party continues to be a placably? opposed and to be undermining it. But I was given to understand that your present president, produced a very long volume, recently, extolling the virtues of traditional Chinese culture –and I just wondered if you might want to comment on that.

Bob Seely MP:

Brilliant, right so there our three, I have just one as well which you can come to last if you have time. The conformity within China, is via artificial intelligence, via use of the internet, is there a threat to China building its conformity to its Communist party outside China as well? So is there, to what extent there’s a threat to liberal values outside China represented by the Chinese Communist Party. But we’ve got 3 great questions there. I think I’ve written them down, I can prompt you if you need.

Anastasia Lin:

That’d be great.

Bob Seely MP:

So the first one about the values of our businessmen when they’re dealing with China, and then about Huawei, and then about president Xi actually writing a book extolling or work extolling traditional Chinese culture. Over to you.

Anastasia Lin:

In our business community, well Hollywood, the woke class of Hollywood never really speak about China and the example you have given about NBA, that has been a phenomenon that China has been planning for many years. Only until very recently are we aware of this kind of infiltration and complete silence on the cultural and entertainment media front.

What I would say, in Australia sometimes they would talk about how can we deal with China if they are giving us all this business and trade. But my answer would be, you can’t drink poison to stop the thirst. This is Chinese proverb. You know that this is a thing that is given to you with a fatal harmful poison in there just because your immediate short term goal has been satisfied, your giving up the future for that. And I think that the Huawei 5G network, the rhetoric that there is no alternative, I don’t know if that is really true. And sometimes that is a rhetoric that the Chinese…that’s the narrative that the Chinese government have been telling the West. There is a competitive advantage purely on the commercial front because China has subsidised their technology. They stole it from the West, and that’s why it’s so cheap, they didn’t invest anything in there. And then with all these intellectual, state sanctioned intellectual property stuff, they formed a 5G network and now they are selling it to the Western telephone retail companies. And these companies are addicted to that kind of subsidy and therefore killing off all the competition abroad.

Bob Seely MP:

I think just on that point, Anastasia, I think it was Nortel that the original intellectual property theft was from. Now nobody’s heard of Nortel, but back in the 90’s it was quite a big Canadian telecoms company that did a deal with Huawei and then Nortel a few years later went under and Huawei was effectively born on the back of Nortel.

Anastasia Lin:

That’s right so, basically Communist party are using the product, innovation, the most essential heartbeat of capitalism and of free society, then to use to come back and kill all our innovation and the competition. So basically I think that is something that we need to look at collectively.

Bob Seely MP:

And finally the gentleman was asking about, was it president Xi’s work on extolling traditional values?

 Anastasia Lin:

Well the Communist party have been very good at re-branding out traditional values, they named their propaganda institute as Confucius institute. That is a façade and I think Communist party has been very good at manipulating the narratives in Chinese traditional culture to fit their own narrative. For example, Taoism respect truthfulness and non-action. It basically means that the universe has its own plan, you individual and as a human being sometimes let go of your ego and things will go well, basically according to the universes plan.

No Communists reinterpret it as you have no action in the political front. You let the government do all your job, you give up all your right, therefore your non-action. Sitting on the side like the marginalised boarder and watching the government take control of everything. So this kind of reinterpretation really messed up Chinese people’s minds.  I hope that makes sense?

Bob Seely MP:

That is a brilliant point and actually it’s something that you’ve seen, I’m looking at Jami because I know she has a Russian and Azerbaijani background and I’m trying to finish a PhD on…(inaudible) Russian hybrid war and one of the issues that we were looking at is the extent to which Russians use communism and found links between communism and traditional Russian culture, in the same way that the Communist party in China, has tried to find a segue (or whatever the correct word is), between the political culture now and seeing how they can root it in a previous culture. Maybe rather mendaciously, as certainly you’re arguing.

Provided there are no more questions and I think we are about to lose the room in a few minutes. So I’m just going to say, Anastasia, that was fantastically interesting, I’m so glad that I was here to listen. Thank you very very much indeed.

HJS



Lost your password?

Not a member? Please click here